Monday, August 14, 2006

Restoration

I was part of a work crew restoring an old Victorian home.

A previous attempt at restoration many years ago couldn't withstand time and bad weather. The foundation was crumbling. Rotted timbers and clapboards hadn't been replaced. Instead, the house was slathered in a coat of pretty pastel yellow paint. All the Victorian doodad trim was painted flat bright white.

Good paint job, lots of time and effort. The house looked ready for prospective buyers, but appearance was more important than substance or durability. If you picked at the paint with something as soft as a fingernail, you’d reveal the rotten brown wood beneath.

To be fair, the previous owner wasn't trying to cheat anybody. He wasn't trying to sell broken goods. He did the best he could with what he had at hand. He pretty much wanted to cut his losses and move.

So anyway, I was working on a second floor back porch... like one of those sleeping porches that people of means built before the advent of electricity and air conditioning. This sleeping porch was filled to the railing with broken, spongy brown chunks of bad wood.

I was using a small trowel (way too small for the job - should've brought a shovel) and throwing the bad wood over the railing into the back yard. Much sweating and swearing. I said to the crew, “We'll haul it all away later. Let's just clear it out for now.”

Digging down more, I discovered a rectangular box... maybe a foot square by about three feet high. It was pristine... a solid clapboard box painted the exact same pastel yellow as the rest of the house. I emptied it out and turned it over, upside down.

I woke up (delighted and laughing for the first time in a long time).

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A faster mode of transportation

Dreaming is easily my favorite pastime. “To sleep, perchance to dream” (stole that phrase from William Shakespeare). I sleep as often as possible.

The real world is so nasty, so violent, so selfish and self-absorbed, that dreamtime offers a safe harbor... a glimpse into something more interesting, powerful, generally kind, and way more useful.

A new mode of travel cropped up repeatedly in recent dreams. I needed a faster mode of transportation to get from one place to another. “Necessity is the mother of invention” (Plato is said to have said that... whatever... I blatantly steal it here).

I often simply fly from place to place in dreamtime. Flying is fun, but it sometimes doesn’t satisfy. It’s too easy to fly. I want to feel my real meat and bones going somewhere. When that happens, it works like this:

I hunker down with both feet planted firmly on the ground and launch myself in a powerful leap. In the waking world, I could maybe leap 6 or 8 feet... but in dreamtime, I can leap maybe 50 or 60 yards, at an altitude of about 15 or 20 feet. As I arc down to the ground, I throw my arms forward and land on my hands.

In the real world, this would cause extreme and probably fatal damage to my hands, arms, and person. But in dreamtime, I simply push off again with my arms, travel maybe another 30 or 40 feet, curl my legs like a spring for the next leap, and take it.

Once you’ve tried it a few times, it becomes an easy, fluid motion. Sorta like the way a frog jumps. You can cover a lot of ground, real fast.

I employed this locomotion technique in a dream about Wal-Mart a few nights ago. I leapfrogged through the whole crazy store and back out to the parking lot... where I collapsed, exhausted and disgusted.